If you run a blog or website you’re going to need to find some images.
Unless the design and feel of your blog centers around minimalism, having great images can help in a number of ways.
The problem, which I’m sure many of you can relate to, is the endless amount of time spent searching for relevant and high quality images to pair with your content.
Sometimes we spend more time searching for the right image than it took to bang out 3,000 words on our favorite topic.
Then there’s the legal aspect of it all.
Are you buying the rights to the images you’re using? That can get expensive.
Do you need to attribute credit to the photographer? That’s where it gets a bit confusing.
Fortunately for you, we’re going to cover the Creative Commons License and how you can use it to your advantage to find great images that are free and will help you in your mission to serve the many.
What a Creative Commons License All About
Creative Commons is a non-profit that produces free licenses to individuals looking to share their creative talent.
It doesn’t replace a copyright, but allows them to almost effortlessly adjust the terms so others can use or distribute their work.
So, when a photographer snaps an amazing shot they automatically own (or have the copyright) to that piece of creative content.
The reason for a copyright is to protect the creators rights, and reasonable so, but it can can be troublesome for the ‘little guy’ or small business owner who may not have the cash flow to purchase images.
If a big brand came in and found your awesome photo, then used to to make money for themselves, the lines get a bit blurry.
They could certainly afford to pay for the image. They made money off of your work. Yet, the creator receives no compensation.
Creative Commons (CC) license photos help to bring things into focus better.
It allows for certain photos and images to be available, for free, to anyone who wishes to use it in a non-commercial way but still requires that anyone who would be making profit from it pay for it.
As long as you provide proper attribution (typically a link back to the creators work will do) you’re good to go. There are even a lot of images for your blog you can use that do not require attribution.
Another great thing about the CC license is that it applies to more than just images. You can use audio, video, and even text, too.
The Benefit of Finding Free Images for Your Blog
Free is free. Simple as that.
It makes sense to take advantage of resources that cost little or nothing, especially if your business is new.
Reducing overhead and maximizing profit is where it’s at.
There are very few, if any, things that are really ‘free’ in the world.
So, if you can find great-looking, professional images to use on your blog – in exchange for a link or credit – why not take advantage of that?
You’re also helping to share great creative work.
On works that require attribution, it helps to drive awareness to a particular creative talent who may otherwise not been exposed to a particular audience.
Images on Your Blog Help With SEO
As an added bonus to finding free images, you can also tweak and adjust them for SEO purposes to help your content rank higher.
1) Add the picture to your post or page.
2) You then have the option to edit the following details about the photo/image:
The most important area is the ‘Alt’ Area.
When Search Bots crawl your web page don’t really ‘see’ the photo like a human visitor would.
But, they do ‘see’ the Alt text that the photo contains.
Knowing this, you can use text or keywords that relate directly to the photo and your post (Alt tags are also required for valid HTML).
So, we know that having a great image for your article or blog makes a big difference – but where do we find them?
Finding Images for Your Blog
There are a number of photo-sharing sites that you can utilize in your search for free blog images.
My go-to is typically Flickr. It’s also the site where this post’s image came from.
Flickr Creative Commons search – Using this link you can run a search on Flickr that brings back the images and photos with Creative Commons licensing.
EveryStockPhoto.com – This is another larger free site which indexes over a million Creative Commons photos.
Pixbay – Another great resource with over a quarter-million free images to choose from.
As you can see there are plenty of images and sites out there to choose from.
Find Free Images for Your Blog Faster
Are you running a WordPress site by any chance?
If so, you can utilize plugins which allow you to expedite the whole process.
Time is the rarest commodity on the planet so I’d highly recommend checking some of these out:
Pixabay Images – This plugin allows you to find quality CC and Public Domain images for commercial use. Adding them to your blog is as easy as clicking the mouse and attribution is voluntary.
Pick a Picture (By Flickr) – Find a CC image with a Flickr search. Even lets you utilize the WP image editor to crop and adjust your image.
WP Inject – 3 clicks to add an image. Searches Pixabay and Flickr for your creative commons images. Ability to edit/insert SEO features is a plus, too.
So, having great images can definitely help your business or blog out in many ways. You can find a number of free images for your blog by manually searching or using some of the plugins above.
Either route you choose to take is going to be of big help to your content marketing strategy.
Hopefully this will get you thinking a bit differently or started in the right direction. Of course, if you’re looking for a holistic approach to your content management, we’re always happy to help take the reins. This allows for many of our clients to focus on sales or production, all while saving time and money. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more!